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Diamond Cup Deckbuilding: Project Venice

The FiveShards Diamond Cup Season 3 is this weekend, and its chapter constructed format is bringing back the Armies-of-Myth–only card pool. But two big changes since the Cressida-dominated Diamond Cup Season 2 ensures that this tournament will play out differently: the banning of Titania’s Majesty from Constructed, and the changes to all champions’ starting health.

We’ve also now had Armies of Myth under our belts for over six months—and we’ve seen how its cards can play out in both limited and the wider constructed metagame. In particular, the vennen-sharded suite of cards in Blood and Sapphire have been able to stand up to both formats, spearheaded by the Hex-community-manager-namesake Phenteo the Brood Priest and his Terrorantula-spawning tendencies. Let’s take a quick look at an AoM-only vennen build and how it could spider its way to the top of the Diamond Cup.

 

Project Venice

Champion: Zorzym of Korru (22 health)

Troops (17)

4x Exarch of the Egg
4x Phenteo the Brood Priest
3x Vampire Princess
3x Eternal Sage
3x Zealous Excruciator

Actions (16)

4x Arcane Focus
4x Rot Cast
4x Suffocate
2x Arachnophobia
2x Cripple

Artifacts (3)

3x Fifth Book of D’harsis

Resources (24)

4x Zin’xith Silk
11x Blood Shard
9x Sapphire Shard

Reserves (15)

1x Vampire Princess
2x Indigo Dreamwalker
1x Augur of Sirion
1x Arachnophobia
2x Noxious Glory
4x Parriphagy
3x Arcane Zephyr
1x Cripple

In transitioning from full Constructed, the Phenteo-centered deck loses combo potential from Azurefate Sorceress, finds itself short the removal staples Kill and Extinction, and no longer has Vampire King and Xentoth’s Inquisitor as both a threat and a way to stabilize. The cheaper interrupt Countermagic isn’t available, either.

So to keep with the original style of the deck, I’m packing a different combo piece to pair with Phenteo: the artifact Fifth Book of D’harsis. Even managing one activation of Phenteo will give the Book fuel to reach into your opponent’s deck and fish them out, giving you massive board advantage to overpower your opponent.

Arcane Focus is fortunately in this format and excellent for finding a resource or the right card for the situation. I’m opting to maintain the ability to interrupt with a set of Suffocate; with the slower format that still wants to play large threats, Suffocate can often be just in time.

The rest of the deck plays solid troops and maindeck answers to things I could expect in the Armies-only metagame. With 11 maindeck vennen troops, Exarch of the Egg makes quite a few extra Spiderling Eggs while being his defensively annoying self, and Zin’xith Silk becomes a fairly reliable threshold fixer…or additional egg source. Vampire Princess is great, Rot Cast hits Ruby/Diamond’s early aggression, Wild/Ruby’s support troops, and opposing Phenteo. A few copies of Cripple is mainly aimed at reducing Crocosaur’s impact, but -4 ATK is quite a bit elsewhere too.

Zealous Excruciator and a couple of Arachnophobia aim to hit the opponent’s hand. Removing late-game options or forcing a decision between massive damage and discarding cards can leave your opponent unable to do much while you fill their deck with eggs. And Eternal Sage rounds out the deck, providing two great effects in this deck’s shards; a Blood threshold buries five cards from your opponent, aiming to hit any eggs within, and Sapphire pulls a Bastion of Adamanth trick by both exhausting a target troop and making it unable to ready on its next turn.

The reserves have a few copies of the lower-count maindeck cards, but provide additional options to re-prioritize. The extra troops provide additional Flight support: Indigo Dreamwalker and Augur of Sirion are particularly larger-sized and can block opposing Vampire Princesses. A few Arcane Zephyr are a semi-interrupt if your opponent is particularly fond of targeting your Phenteo and other key troops, as well as a potential way to block Flight (hello Exarch of the Egg) or even send your big troop in for damage. Noxious Glory for more ways to slow down a swath of low-ATK aggressors, and Parriphagy for when late-game removal is needed.

And that’s the deck. If the spider-like race of vennen and their control tendencies are up your alley, this is a build you can sleeve up and tweak to your own liking. Whatever deck you do end up bringing, I hope to see many of you at Saturday morning’s Diamond Cup Season 3!

You can find Hacky on FiveShards tournament casts and several times a week on his personal Twitch channel. A balanced and competitive Hex player, versed in Limited and Constructed; primarily focused on nurturing the ever-growing Hex community, especially on Twitch.

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